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Teachings From The Northern Coast Of Israel
Caesarea Philippi was named by Philip, the son Herod the Great (who tried to kill the infant Christ; see The Herods). Philip named it after the reigning Caesar ("Caesarea"; there were two Caesars during the life of Jesus of Nazareth - Augustus and Tiberius) and himself ("Philippi"). It has an elevation of about 1,150 feet above sea level, even though near the foot of Mount Hermon, within the eastern sources of The Jordan River, which then flows south through the Sea of Galilee.
The city of Caesarea Philippi was located near the original northern border of the land of Israel, as defined by the city of Dan ("Dan to Beersheba" e.g. 1 Samuel 3:20), which was about 6 miles to the west of Caesarea Philippi, with Jerusalem about 150 miles to the south. As seen on the map, Caesarea Philippi was an inland city, however the King James Version refers to the area as "the coasts of Caesarea Philippi" because the word "coast" originally meant a border, not necessarily a boundary near or made by a body of water. Caesarea Philippi was near the traditional northern "coast," or border, of Israel.
It was natural for Jesus Christ, The Prophet Of Galilee, to travel to the area of Caesarea Philippi from His home in Nazareth, and later, Capernaum. It was while He was in Caesarea Philippi that He delivered some of His most well-known teachings about "the gates of hell," "the keys of the kingdom" and "bind and loose" (see the Fact Finder question below).
"16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works"
Without the greater measure of Holy Spirit that they later received, after His Resurrection (see Their Eyes Opened After Christ's Tomb Did), the apostles did not fully understand, while He was yet with them, that He came to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God. The reason that Peter defended the Messiah from the mob on the night that He was arrested (see Malchus) was to attempt to prevent the Christ from being killed. In this incident, at Caesarea Philippi, when the Messiah told them that He had to go down to Jerusalem to be killed, loyal Peter said that "this shall not be unto thee."
"16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day [see Why Observe The True Sabbath?].
The purpose of our physical lives is to choose, by means of genuine repentance (see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge and The Truth Shall Make You Free), to accept the Messiah's offer of salvation. If there was nothing required, there would be no lake of fire coming to destroy those who refuse to do what they must do to be saved (see The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?). Those who merely arrogantly do as "they damn well please" in Christ's Name are going to get the Damnation that they are asking for by their self-righteous Satanic rebelliousness (see Is Your Religion Your Religion? and What's Your Angle?; also Is He Out Of Your Mind?).
"16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [see Carrying The Cross], and follow me. 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? [see Where Is Your Soul?] 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works [see Works Means Obedience]. 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:24-28 KJV)
The "transfiguration" most-likely occurred on nearby Mount Hermon. It was a vision of the future Kingdom of God on earth (see Delivering The Kingdom Unto God).
"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
"17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?